Based on 75 Users
Benjamin Harrop-Griffiths is a great math professor. During lecture, his explanations of theorems and concepts are succinct, followed by five minutes for us to do a practice problem and then watch him go through the problem. Just by going to lecture and doing the very helpful homeworks (some of which do take a while and I recommend starting them as soon as you can), I felt extremely prepared for Ben's VERY fair exams. When he says that the midterms take one hour, he's telling the truth. Exam problems are similar to homework questions, but sometimes involve a little bit more thinking outside the box.
Apart from math, Ben is a super funny guy and his English accent makes class super engaging. He's extremely helpful at answering homework/lecture questions on his Slack channel, and you can tell he really cares about making the class effective and accommodating.
He is one of the best professors I have ever had at UCLA. His lectures are clear, he tries to make his lectures engaging (which for some topics it is quite challenging), his exams are all fair, and he is extremely helpful at OH.
I would take him again for any other class.
I really enjoyed having Harrop-Griffiths for 32B. I was pretty nervous going into 32B since 32A was pretty hard for me (I had Filipazzi for 32A), but Harrop-Griffiths made everything incredibly clear. He made extremely hard topics such as Green's Theorem and Stokes Theorem much less intimidating than they first appear. He used Slack for student questions and replied to almost all questions very promptly.
The grading is 30 percent final, 20 percent each midterm, 25 percent homework, 4.5 percent discussion worksheets, and 0.5 percent surveys. He stressed the importance of instructor evaluations and surveys, and its clear he really values student input as a way for him to enhance his already amazing teaching skills. The homework load was reasonable and a typical homework assignment took me about 5-7 hours to complete. His tests are fair in difficulty and there were no weird/trick questions, unlike 32A.
I thought the midterms were pretty easy (got 100 percent on both) and resemble the sample problems he goes over in lecture. I was a bit nervous about his final since apparently people who took his class in Winter 2019 complained about the difficulty of his final (like the average was a 65 percent). He gave out his Winter 2019 final exam for practice, and the last problem was pretty hard! In contrast, the final I took this quarter was very reasonable in terms of difficulty, harder than midterms but fairly resembled the content in class and the practice finals, with no surprises.
Edit: I got an A in the class :)
Highly recommend Harrop-Griffiths for 32B!
Welcome to Math 135! You probably are here because you heard that 135 is one of the "easier" math classes. Let me just say, Benjamin was like "hold my beer", because this is actually one of the hardest classes I took.
Benjamin is a very clear lecturer. We have a Slack page for our class where we can ask questions, and Professor always goes out of his way to answer every question because he cares about us. He does use slides to lecture, but he doesn't just read from them. There are lots of examples and proofs that he works out with us.
The grading scheme is as follows:
29.5% Homework, 0.5% End of the term evaluation, 20% Midterm 1, 20% Midterm 2, 30% Final Exam
>70% guarantees at least a C-, >80% guarantees at least a B- and so on.
The first few weeks of 135 was very straightfoward. All the content up to midterm 1 was simple. But once we started learning about existence and uniqueness, this class felt more like an analysis class than a differential equations class. Half of the class, we were learning proofs and half of the time we were doing computational work.
His homework is pretty challenging and long, so be sure to start early. Homework is due every Wednesday. Each assignment is about half proofs and half computations. The proof questions were very difficult and the computational problems were long but mostly straightforward. Some of these computational problems are very lengthy and you may have to use lots of pages to solve them! Only about 30% of the homework was graded for correctness, and the rest is graded for completeness.
There were 2 midterms for this class. Midterms 1 and 2 were challenging but still had averages in the mid 80s. However the final exam almost made me cry (average was still somehow a 47/60, how??). To put this into context, if you ever played Pokemon, imagine that Midterm 1 is gym leader Whitney, Midterm 2 is Champion Lance, and the Final Exam is Champion Cynthia from Pokemon Platinum. Because that's how hard they were.
To conclude this, Benjamin cares a lot about his students. His Bitmojis make me smile. His lectures are engaging and I would definitely take another class with him again! I highly recommend him if you want to challenge yourself. You will learn a lot from his class!
Forgot to mention that I appreciate him giving us 40 hours for the midterms and for curving my 81.8% to a B.
Harrop-Griffiths is one of if not the best professor I've had so far. Previously I had heard that 32B is one of the hardest lower division math courses, but this professor explains course concepts so clearly that it doesn't feel this way at all. In addition to his clear and well organized lectures, he holds office hours twice a week which I highly recommend you attend. He answers any general or homework questions very thoroughly and clearly (and is also fun to chat with when there are no questions). The homework workload is not too heavy, only about 10-15 problems due every week. The exams are very fair, and everything that we have been tested on he has covered in class. The exam grading system is very fair as well. There are no quizzes for this class, only two 36-hour midterms and one 24-hour final. Overall if you have the chance to take his class I highly highly recommend it!
Griffiths is the best math prof I had at UCLA hands down. He is extremely clear with the material and relates it to easier-to-understand concepts. He is very generous with points so much so that as long as you put something on the paper you will get a good amount of partial credit for the midterms and final. The material was interesting and he didn't take the class too seriously (you didn't need to memorize every single textbook definition for integration but rather just needed to know how to apply it). My only gripe is that the final was worth ~ 65% of the grade on the second-grade scheme, which is quite large considering it was only 8 questions (8% of your final grade per question). That being said, I was at the higher end of an A- and he ended up giving me (and some others) an A for the work. Overall, great and personable professor who will be sorely missed as I believe it was his last year teaching.
Thanks again, Professor.
Benjamin was an awesome professor. He was super helpful and very approachable/friendly. His exams are pretty hard, but I think he is an exceptional enough lecturer to offset that. Benjamin is the best math professor I've had in math. Here is a full breakdown of this class with Ben:
1) Benjamin assigns long weekly HW sets. Be sure to start early and go to his office hours to ask for help. Homework is worth a lot in his class, too (I think 25-30 percent).
2) Benjamin's lectures are fantastic. He tries to keep you engaged with Zoom polls, etc. He does everything at a good pace and when asked, he is more than happy to repeat himself. His lectures are related to the HW and the exam and can be used as the primary source to learn. I didn't like the textbook for this class, so I used his lecture notes and was fine. His lecture notes are very well organized, as he writes them out during lecture (on pre-made slides).
3) Benjamin's exams are pretty tough. He doesn't test anything that isn't relevant, but he does put a tough twist on concepts you have already learned. Doing the HW helps, but just because you have done the HW, you are not fully guaranteed to do well on the exams. Fully understanding the concepts will definitely help, however. Surprisingly, the average for the exams weren't that bad. The final had a lower average than the midterms (and it was a harder exam as well), but nothing unreasonable.
Overall, Benjamin is fantastic. He really makes an effort to give you the best experience, and during these COVID times, I surely appreciated that. Best math prof. I've had ever at UCLA. Math 135 is supposed to be one of the easier upper divs, but Benjamin changes that. He makes the class harder than most professors, but if you try your best, you will learn something. I would definitely take another class with him if given the chance, but it would be wise to do so with an easier schedule. Nevertheless, this dude is super cool.
Ben's lectures are pretty clear but his homework is extremely difficult. Be prepared to spend 10+ hours a week working on a handful of problems and going to many office hours. His exams are tricky but easier than the homework. Requires you to be very familiar with precalc concepts. If you can't recall trig identities and function graphs like the back of your hand, I highly recommend brushing up.
For context, this was my first in person quarter at UCLA and the first time I had taken timed, in person exams since COVID first hit. Also for context, I breezed through AP Calculus AB/BC in high school and got an A- in MATH 32A.
Starting with the good, I like Professor Harrop-Griffiths because he is very clear when lecturing and is also very, very kind, considerate, and generous. His lectures are engaging and he is helpful when people ask questions. I also think that with the exception of the second midterm he gave this quarter, his exams are pretty fair.
That being said, this class is not easy by nature. I think having a good professor definitely helps but there is no way to avoid the fact that this class is very dense in material and there is A LOT of information/content in it. One thing that I didn't like was that the examples he gave during lecture were always the easiest versions of the problems. You can bet that you will not be seeing questions as easy as those on the exams or even homework.
Summary of the course: first midterm went fine, got an A-. Second midterm was horrible and got a 32%. I was definitely on the lower end of the scores but based off a GroupMe poll a lot of other people also did just as bad or not much better. In response the professor gave a very encouraging message that basically said he will "disregard" our second midterm score when calculating final grades if we perform better on the final. The final was objectively pretty fair but I still got a 71%. In the end, the professor applied a pretty generous curve I think and I ended up with a B in the class which was a lot better than I could have hoped for. Although I'm pretty sure he doesn't normally curve so I'm not sure if he adjusted people's grades individually or applied an overall curve to the class.
I will say that I think a lot of what happened in this class was my own fault. I never went to lecture in person and only watched recordings and as a result I was consistently always at least a week behind. I never did the homework/worksheets and only copied it to submit for the points. Didn't do any practice problems to study for the exams because I was always frantically cramming in the lectures the night before. For that reason, I am extremely grateful for the professor's generosity with final grades and I honestly believe that an A- or A is attainable in the class as long as you don't slack off like I did. Overall, I would take this class with him again. Even though he accidentally made the second midterm way too hard he definitely accounted for it later on and he wasn't purposely trying to make it difficult so I wouldn't hold that against him.
TL;DR: professor is very generous and considerate and if you stay on top of things then an A-/A should be doable.
32B is hard. Really, really, really hard. Do not under any circumstances underestimate this class. Don't fall behind. Don't ease up halfway through like I did. This class is hard from week 1 to week 10 ,if you're struggling in week 2 things WILL NOT get better. The material leans heavily on 31B (only the integration part not series) and 32A, if you did not fully learn both of these you are starting off at a disadvantage so enjoy playing catchup. Obviously, 1st quarter coming back from Covid it's hard to honestly gauge, but this was without a doubt the hardest course I've taken in my life, and it's really not even close.
To get an A you need to do the homework, and I mean DO the homework. Don't copy. Don't halfass. Sit down and do each question and actually understand the entire process before moving on to the next one. Then a week before the test relook over the homework and do other problems in the book similar to the homework problems, then do the practice exam(s) the day before the test. I would say go to lecture but I actually probably only attended about half of them, but I don't think they would hurt lol. If you don't wanna attend next best thing is Khan Academy. Not only do you need to know the math but you're going to have to have somewhat of knowledge of what is physically happening , which is hard in 3D space.
Anyway, Harrops. He's alright. Not out of this world amazing as some claim. Not horrible. Just good. Good lecturer. Good enough test maker with the exception of Midterm 2 which was infamously awful (pretty sure the class average was an F). Test advice is 1) the midterms are short if a problem looks like it will take too long you're 99% chance you're doing it wrong there is some shortcut somewhere you missed go back and find it 2) Put down something, anything, I didn't get 0 credit for a problem all year and believe me there were I knew 0.
Ok, anyways this class is going to suck, but you might as well do it with a solid professor like Harrops.
14.5% - Homework
20% - Midterm 1
20% - Midterm 2
45 % - Final
.5% - Surveys